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‘No one gives a monkey about Deontay Wilder’: Eddie Hearn hits out against American heavyweight

Samuel Lovett

Eddie Hearn has launched a scathing verbal attack against Deontay Wilder, claiming that “no one gives a monkeys” about the American, after he criticised Anthony Joshua’s title-winning performance in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua reclaimed his WBA, WBO and IBF belts on Saturday night with a unanimous points win over Andy Ruiz, six months after he was sensationally dethroned by the American-Mexican at Madison Square Gardens in one of boxing’s biggest upsets.

But Wilder, the current holder of the WBC belt, wasn’t impressed by what he saw in Diriyah, claiming in an interview with The Athletic that “Joshua’s mentality was to survive”. “How can no one say I’m not the very best in the world now?” the American added.

In response, Hearn questioned Wilder’s popularity as a boxer, saying “we spend too much energy and time” on the American.

Asked about Wilder’s comments, the promoter said: “What after Joshua put on an absolute public exhibition and schooled the World Heavyweight Champion?

“We spend too much energy and time on Deontay Wilder who in the whole grand scheme of things has just boxed in America at Las Vegas and sold 7,000 f****** tickets and done about 100,000 buys on pay per view.

“No one gives a monkey about Deontay Wilder, I’m sorry but it’s true.”

For the first title defence of his second stint as world champion, Joshua is likely to face either unbeaten Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, the WBO’s mandatory challenger, or Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev, the mandatory challenger for the IBF.

Joshua said he wanted his next fight to be held in London, with Hearn suggesting Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium as a likely venue.

“Wembley doesn’t look great, date-wise,” Hearn said. “Tottenham Hotspur is a nice new stadium for a UK fight. We’ve got to look at it.

“We spoke to Spurs about hosting this fight, which they were keen to do, but unfortunately the dates didn’t work out. They would be keen to do it and it would be a nice stadium to do it in London.”